Pastoral traditions are still alive in a particularly “Centru di Corsica” style, providing this region with a great part of its cultural identity, landscape and architecture.
Arriving from Ajaccio and heading towards Corte, you will traverse theVenacaise region in the heart of the Corsican Regional Nature Park. A land of livestock herding and human migration, theVenaco region is reputed for producing the island’s most prestigious cheeses and, in early May, the regional farm cheeses fair brings together the producers of farm cheeses from across the entire island. This is a rendezvous that gourmets should not miss!
You are certain to admire the achievement that is the Pont du Vecchio, constructed byGustave Eiffel,which provides a trail crossing high above the ravine.
Countless villages await your visit, such as Muracciole. They have all the typical charm of the Corsican villages that perch on the island’s mountainsides.
Corte, the former capital of independent Corsica under Pascal Paoli, is a city that is dominated by its citadel, which was built on a rocky outcrop. Enjoy the superb view from the eagle’s nest before visiting the Ethnographic Museum of Corsica. At the entrance toCorte begins the Restonica Valley from where, weather permitting, you can set off on a walk to thelakes of Melo and of Capitello.
Try falculellu, a sweet speciality made with brocciu cheese and served on a chestnut leaf, whilst admiring the Sainte Croix chapel that is located in the town centre.
On the evening of Maundy Thursday,Corte plays host to the ceremony known as the "Granitola", a procession in the shape of a snail that circles around and then stretches back out slowly. On Good Friday evening, the Christ and the Virgin Mary process through the streets of the old town by candlelight. Corte is the only town in Corsica where Christ is venerated with a recumbent effigy that is carried on a stretcher by penitents.
During the 2nd weekend in June, the Regional Horse Fair or « Cavall'in festa » is the un-missable rendezvous for the island’s equestrian and agricultural industry. Parades of horses, activities aimed at children, horse rides, carriages, acrobatics, dressage and more make up the programme.
Asco and Niolo
The high valley of Asco starts its climb at the foot of Monte Cinto, the highest summit in Corsica at 2851 metres. Passing through La Scala di Santa Regina, a former access route for Niolo, you can discover another side to Corsica, arid and wild, where only the shepherds and the experienced walkers dare to venture.
Discover the rich mountain plant life as you set out from Calacuccia along the numerous migration routes. If you are patient enough, you may be able to surprise a mouflon mountain sheep, or see a vulture and a golden eagle soaring, the lords of the Corsican mountains.
Take the children on a guided visit to the village of the tortoises at Moltifao and stroll right along to the Genoese bridge at Asco that links the Asco with the Niolo.